It has been a busy year for Nueces County Emergency Service District # 2 in Flour Bluff, as they have been fighting structure and brush fires.
They have also been busy helping people on the waterways.
The Nueces County Emergency Service District # 2 in Flour Bluff started their water rescue program in 2013, and since then, they have responded to 210 water rescue calls while saving 59 victims.
“This year alone, we have made over 62 calls. The water rescue team stays very active. Sixty-two calls is a record for us in one year. We are normally in the 40s-30s range, but this year has been exceptionally busy,” said Nueces County ESD # 2 Fire Chief Dale Scott.
Recently, the ESD #2 Fire Department replaced their 15 year old boat with one of the most well-equipped marine rescue units in the area.
“It is a very handy piece of equipment. It has a 400 gallon per minute pump, and we can do 95 gallons a minute out of our onboard nozzle, or we can attach attack lines and do up to 200 gallons per minute. It also has the flare system on board for nighttime operations, and it can do either mass or heat so it makes it a lot easier to find people in the water at night,” said Scott.
The new water rescue boat can better meet the growing demand and response times to a wide range of incidents on the intracoastal waterways.
“There is a lot of activity in the intracoastal waterway; there is a lot of activity through the packer jetties, and there are a lot of boating accidents, and near drownings, and therefore, somebody has to go pick them up, and a lot of times the Coast Guard is busy so it just makes sense; we are right around the corner,” said Scott.
After years of budgeting, the fire department was able to purchase their new $140,000 rescue boat.
“It has made 20 something rescues already this year so just by rescuing one person, it has already paid for itself,” said Scott.
The new Flour Bluff Fire Station was built in 2003 and has 11 full time firefighters and 8 volunteers that provide fire service in Flour Bluff, Padre Island and unincorporated areas in the county.